Asom-Not

The only troubling thing about the now-concluded Nnamdi Asomugha sweepstakes was his landing spot.

The rest is history, and the Cowboys' Nation should be breathing a collective sigh of relief that the "Make a Splash" GM, Jerry Jones, fell just short with his bid to secure Asomugha's services and financially crippling the Cowboys for years to come.

Sure, the feeding frenzy on Friday afternoon was sheer entertainment throughout the Dallas media and Metroplex, and sports talk radio hadn't been that riveting in years, but in the end, Philly got their man, and the Boys can get about the business of securing more pressing needs. Asomugha would have been NICE, but certainly not NECESSARY.

Cowboys' Fans, collectively take a deep breath, and repeat after me, "This is a rebuilding year." Yes, the dreaded words no one wants to hear or admit. Guess what? It is, and it should be. This team is nowhere near playoff contention, let alone in position to make a serious run at a Lombardi trophy. Come on people, we are talking about the third best team in the Division, and if the Redskins weren't so pathetic with their personnel decisions, the Cowboys might find themselves in the basement.

Sometimes looking in the mirror, studying the reflection, and assessing the true image is hard work and gut-wrenching. I do it every day, and the flaws are readily apparent. The difference is I don't try to mask them or cover them up as the Cowboys were attempting to do Friday afternoon. In the NFL, simply adding toys is not the answer. You go directly to where the ball is placed on the turf, and depending on possession, you look immediately at the units closest to the ball. You assess and build each of your lines, offensive and defensive and move out from there. With one exception.

You must have a legitimate NFL-ready Quarterback to compete in this League. If you don't, there is no reason to raise hopes until that piece of the puzzle is completely and comfortably secured. Dallas, the good news is, he legitimately MIGHT be there, but make no mistake about it, the jury is still out on Tony Romo. At least the Cowboys aren't in the two-thirds of the League that have absolutely NO CHANCE.

Putting Romo aside for the moment, the (strong) contention is the Cowboys have NOT fortified either line of scrimmage unit to suitable and competitive levels. Each appears to be getting a little closer, and younger, both good signs, but they're not complete, and until they are, this team will struggle.

With the exception of Right Guard, this offensive line has the makings of potential. Athletically, they'll be better, and if they plan to effectively run the ball, they are finding pieces that can routinely get to the second level of the opposing defense. Last year's unit could not, and did not, do this. Guards and Centers have to be able to get off initial blocks and get to defensive Linebackers. If you can't, you will live and die by the pass, and that is a recipe for potentially getting your Quarterback killed.

So, the offensive line is getting close, but (quality) depth is a huge concern. Injuries have already started to mount around the League due to the non-existent off-season training programs, and this could pose a major problem for all. Center Andre Gurode is already a PUP, but he needs to be a DAWG come 9/11.

Once again, repeat after me, "You cannot win in this League without getting pressure on the opposing Quarterback." It cannot be done. Flat-out, cannot be done. How good were the Cowboys at getting to the opposition Quarterback last year? Answer? They WEREN'T. Surrendering 428 annual points is not going to secure you post-season invitations. Ain't no how, no way! So, FIX IT!

Last time checked, Nnamdi Asomugha does not rush the quarterback, at least not on a routine basis. So, take his King's ransom asking price and find someone who does. And if the player doesn't routinely rush the QB, like Ware and Spencer are supposed to, then find someone who routinely creates "push" pressure. Meaning, they are pushing the offensive pocket right into the opposition QB's grill. The Cowboys' X-factor? Josh Brent. His jury deliberation is 100 times that of Romo's, but each remains vital and critical to team success. If Brent can play, which many seem to feel he can, then stick-thin (and this is concerning) Jay Ratliff can become a moveable nightmare for opposition Offensive Coordinators and signal-callers. If you don't know where Ratliff will line up from play to play, that's a good thing. A very good thing.

With Marcus Spears now signed and continuing to clog things up inside, then a penetrating and disruptive DE must be secured on the open market. MUST. Is Cullen Jenkins the answer? I don't know, but it sure would be a step in the right direction, and while he'll command money as well, it won't be Asomugha Brinks truck cash. Get Jenkins or a similar facsimile and immediately head to the deep third of this defense.

The Cowboys CANNOT roll with an Alan Ball/Gerald Sensabaugh combination, or anything that looks or acts like it again. Safety security has been an issue since Darren Woodson hung up the pads several years ago. Attention, Cowboys, fix it! There is a litany of upgrades sitting out there on the open market. Take your pick, and don't be anywhere near as stupid as the San Diego Chargers were in resigning Eric Weddle. Nothing against the man himself, but that salary? Absurd. Absolutely absurd. Others, with similar or better skill sets can be had, and for much less coin. This needs to happen yesterday.

Jerry actually admitted to tearing up over losing out on the Asomugha deal. Why? Because Jerry does not lose at the art of negotiation and securitization. At least not very often. The Art of the Deal is an incredible business persona, but you know what? Sometimes it's good to swing and miss. Jerry should have been shedding tears of relief. His team, the Dallas Cowboys, are NOT one Nnamdi Asomugha away from making a run. They are several, quality starters, mainly defensive players, away from competing. This is not the year to go "all in." This is the year to just "get in."

Now, take your thankful savings and GET TO WORK!!

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